Strip club tax falls short of projections

Online Staff Report

The controversial strip club tax has generated approximately 40 percent the revenue it was expected to when it was passed by Illinois lawmakers in 2012.

The tax, unofficially known as Illinois’ “pole tax,” was expected to bring in $1 million a year to fund programs that assist victims of sexual assault. The tax accounted for $383,000 in 2013, according to reports Wednesday, April 16.

Officials attribute the low revenue to the fact that the law only applies to small strip bars that serve or allow alcohol. That leaves out many bars in large markets like Chicago–which bans alcohol at its strip clubs.

Under the law, strip club owners can pay $3 for every customer or an annual surcharge ranging from $5,000 and $25,000 based on annual sales.

State spokesmen said 37 strip bars paid the tax in 2013.

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